In the age that we live in, it's so easy to get a picture. We have cameras on our cell phones that we can instantly share with the world. The problem with this is that pictures tend to be stored on the computer or our phone. Sometimes they get lost forever when hard drives crash or cell phones get damaged. The Cloud is useful to store images in this situation but again we have it where the images are just being stored.
Those special moments need to be seen and not stored. Pictures deserve to be printed. They need to be on walls, or on tables so when you walk by, you get that special feeling of that memory. Or in albums so when you are feeling nostalgic, you can turn the pages and relive these sacred moments. These prints do not even have to be professional prints. I have prints on my walls of my trips. Every time I look at these prints, I get a wave of memories that will forever keep the trip alive.
To me, photography is an art. To be able to capture moments in time that can never be repeated is AMAZING! I think about the technology of the first cameras, the patience that photographers used to have while in the field and in the dark room, and how portraits were appreciated because it was not something everybody could do. Images captured by earlier photographers were done by calculating light and time. By knowing how long to leave the shutter open. The subjects had to stay still or their faces were blurry. This is the best! I love everything about black and white photography, and prints in general.
There is a need nowadays to have control of images or to have all the images that photographers take. I feel this is because photographs are now so accessible. In photography, I feel that quality is better than quantity. If you were to go through your cell phone pictures right now with the option to have free prints of the last 100 pictures you took, I bet you would only want to print 3-5 of them to hang on your walls. Maybe more for albums. That is because you would only have emotional connections to a few of those images. That happens with professional photography as well. Most portrait sessions will print up to 8 images even with a gallery of 100 images. Those 8 images remind you that your child has such chubby cheeks, or how grown up they are, or how your family has grown as a whole, or that special moment from your wedding when he made you laugh so hard. Every time you walk by one of those images, you will get a smile on your face, or a wave of emotion of that day. Prints are tangible. They allow you to hold that memory in your hand.
I write this blog post on a day that will forever be a sad one for me. This day last year, my grandmother passed away. Now all we have are pictures of her, and I assure you that my whole family has printed pictures of her and my grandfather. Last year I put together the memory boards for her memorial. I was overwhelmed with emotion when I came across their wedding album. They have less than 20 images to remember their special day with but the quality of these images is remarkable. These images are traditional and epic but display their love like every wedding album should display. Nowadays, it is common practice to get all your wedding images on a USB drive, CD, or downloaded from a gallery. Half the couples will make prints to frame (which is fantastic), but some don't actually touch these images. Very few couples make an album of their special day. You can argue that albums are so expensive. But I will counter your argument with this. We still have my grandparents album. It is 66 years old. Let's just say that these images cost them $100-200 (really I have no idea... I'm only guessing). If you're good at economics you can factor in cost of inflation but I am not good at economics and refuse to do such a thing. But I'm decent at math... so let's have a look:
66 years x 365 days in a year = 24,090 days that this album has roughly existed
Let's say they paid $200 for the whole services divided by the days of existence
$200/24090 = $0.0083 cents per day
This means that in the end, this album cost my grandparents less than a penny for every day that they were married. I would say that the cost is definitely worth it. Now let's take my middle package of $2600 and add a $500 wedding album (my package includes a $250 print credit) so the cost out of pocket would be $2850 for your wedding day. Hopefully you are married for 66 years (I always hope for longer but for example's sake!)
$2850/24090 = $0.118
Your wedding day memories will cost you $0.12/day of that 66 years. That's pretty awesome if you ask me.
One thing to think about when considering prints and/or albums is who will be looking at them in 60+ years. You may not look at them every day but you child, grandchild, or great grandchild will love looking at these images. They will love to see the love shared through generations. I also believe that special portrait sessions should be remembered. Those milestones that you pay to have captured will mean so much more to the future generations. They will appreciate holding that album in their hands. They will appreciate the time you took to have those memories captured. Those prints will be appreciated by generations to come. The cost will be worth it in the end to have those memories relived by people who weren't even at the wedding. Your memories will become their memories. If you don't believe me, here are the images from my grandparents' wedding album.
My point of this blog is to take advantage of printed images. Give them a special place in your home. Looks at them and remember those moments. Through my job I have had a lot of customers come in and say "This is the only picture we have of him" or "My memory card isn't working and I have important pictures on it." Print those pictures!! Yes, it is nice to have all the digitals of your wedding but will every image mean everything to you in 60 years? Or will the album you could make (or have made!), that you can hold, mean so much more to your future generations?!?